I am not sure I ever consciously thought I am not good at this Christian thing I am just going to walk away.
But I did walk away.
I think because of several things, one is not knowing that this is a process and if I keep doing this in my strength I will not be able to do it. But if I train with the Holy Spirit all things are possible.
Think about it when you are trying something new how much easier is it with a guide, a mentor, a helper, a comforter? That is what the Holy Spirit is for us. He comes alongside us and shows so much.
We do not realize we must train to be great Christians.
Based on just the definitions I pick train!
Check out these Bible Verses
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Psalm 18:34
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. Psalms 144:1
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Ok, so you do not like the training ideal too much like an athlete?
What about we must grow? like seeds...
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Luke 8:5-8
Not liking that either what about building?
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:24-27
Okay so the Bible mentions training, building and growing but what is the big deal? What happens if you do not train?
The purpose of training is to make us better Christians. To make us mature. We start as babes and as such are on milk we are to progress to meat/solid food.
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrew 5:12-14
Ever heard of sanctification? What about holiness?
Sanctification is God's process of making His people set apart (holy) and unique through the blood of Christ.
I know I am not remotely holy as God is. The process to become holy as He is will take work. So the process of becoming better Christians mature Christians takes us along the journey to become holy among other things.
So why is it so important to become mature Christians?
To be prepared for what is to come.
What is coming?
In the world you will have tribulation; John 16:33
If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first John 15:18
"We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said. Acts 14:22
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and calamities; 2 Corinthians 6:4
I show all that not so you can catch the first bus out of town but rather so you see why it is necessary to train. Before I lose you let me let you know that we have been already labeled as more than conquerors. Our Jesus has already won we just need to get the word out.
Okay back to why train. Why do we have so many issues if God has already won?
Because we have a purpose.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossian 3:17
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16 NKJV
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Just as in the Bible the apostles preached and touched the world, life by life. The devil is trying very hard to make sure you cannot have that impact in your life.
The enemy is a sore loser. He is trying to take out as many Christians as he can by fears and lying and deceit he hopes that you will not shine so that others can wonder what has you hopeful (That hope is God) even as you go through hardships.
We must be trained to see what tools we have at our disposal to offset what the enemy will throw at us trying to make us unproductive Christians.
So you will stay with God
As mentioned above the enemy is trying very hard to make sure we do not fulfill our purpose.
I think of the 15+ years when I had walked away from my faith.
- I wonder was there someone I was supposed to help during that time?
- Did I set myself back with that long walk through my personal desert?
- The decisions poor awful horrid decisions I made during that time have impacted my life, even though I am forgiven there are consequences.
I have talked to several people who walked away due to hardships that they did not expect to have due to being a Christian. They did not understand why these things were happening to them.
Oddly enough I actually came back in the hardest time of my life, my father's passing. Maybe it started as a tribute to him. But I reached for the thing that was solid and that was God.
Would being aware that you will have tribulations make you better prepared for it?
Would knowing that you may be hated or unpopular due to your choices help you stay right by God?
If knowing that life will not be easy or simple but ohhhh so worth it helps you fulfill your purpose then goal accomplished.
So do you think that training is worth it?